After a short but enjoyable tour of the historical and heritage sites of Shimla, my friends and I, adventure buffs to our core, decided to give wing to our passion and head to the closest sightseeing spot for nature and photography. This came with an added bonus! A steep, intense climb to the Mahasu Peak, Kufri to channel the spirit of adventure brewing in us! Hitting the high spot on our list were Kufri and Chail, known for breathtaking vistas and unforgettable landscape.
Straight into it! We headed to Chail first, a resort in the Shiwalik range of the Himalayas. The retreat is 2, 226 meters above sea level, an enthralling climb for trekking buffs like me. Chail
robbed us of our ability to speak! I cannot begin to describe its beauty and loveliness. It was like time stood still here, winding its way through snow-capped mountains that never changed,
save for gently melting snow rolling down its length like a single teardrop down a cheek. My friends and I were awed by the sheer beauty of the scene. Towering mountains interspersed with
Pine trees, Cedars and Deodars, green needles poking through the snow. Peace and quiet all around. Only the sound of tiny birds fluttering about with melodious notes and gentle calls. We simply
stood there, lost in time, in the magnificence of the moment. After an array of pictures and plethora of poses, the Euphoria that engulfed us dissipated slightly, allowing us to settle nicely and
learn a bit about this retreat. Chail has an interesting history. When Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja of Patiala was expelled from Shimla, he created his own capital for the summer, Chail. Before The
Maharaja made Chail his private retreat, this tiny retreat was part of Keonthal state. Allured by its charms, the Gorkha Warrior Amer Singh made it his stronghold until the Maharaja of Patiala
A few sightseeing spots we explored in and around Chail were the Sidh Baba Temple and the highest cricket pitch and polo ground in the world standing at 2,444 meters above sea level. While we did not halt long, Sadhupul village along the Ashwani river is a great picnic spot for tourists wanting a lazy, enjoyable day by the water.
Kufri was our second stop for the day, an enjoyable drive through forests and villages to Himalayan Natural Park. The Park is a wildlife reserve with several endangered species of animal like Musk Deer and Bear. Our primary interest was the Mahasu Peak, with beautiful views from atop the mountain. The perfect spot to freeze four best friends in time forever! The highlight of Kufri is the Rhododendron Flower Tree, with pretty flowers blossoming in Spring. The Rhododendron is the state flower of Himachal Pradesh. We rounded off our fabulous trip to the mountains with a mouthwatering lunch at Café Lalit, Kufri. Another day in Paradise!